Step by Step
A person’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand their own way? . . . In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. - (Proverbs 20:24; 16:9)
God is in control of all circumstances that surround my life. Sometimes we may feel we understand these circumstances, but at other times we don’t have a clue why certain things happen as they do, and we are mystified. We make our plans. But God always will have His way.
There’s nothing wrong with making a plan for tomorrow or for next month or next year. But we must always plan with this proviso: the Lord may change our plans and take us in a completely different direction. It is His prerogative to do so; He, not you, is in control of your life.
Jeremiah 10:23 says, “O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.” And in the book of Proverbs, the writer asks the question: “The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?” (Proverbs 20:24, NLT).
We sometimes call this guiding of our steps “divine providence.” Does that mean, then, that bad things never will happen to good and even godly people? No. But it does mean that even when bad things happen, God can bring good out of bad, as Romans 8:28 assures us.
All of God’s good promises, however, won’t be fully realized until we get to heaven. There are some things we can look at in life and say, “That was a really terrible experience, but now as I look back in retrospect, I can see the good that has come from it.” But then there are other things we will experience in life that we never will see good come out of — or at least “good” as we understand it. It won’t be until we get to the other side and see the Lord face-to-face that we will understand these things.
Even so, we entrust our lives to His good hands and His great wisdom and praise Him for directing us step by step.
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When God doesn’t make sense, when it seems that He is asleep, when it feels like He doesn’t care, we must remind ourselves of His promises. Going back to God’s promises, we find something that we desperately need in those hard times: perspective.
That eternal perspective is the focus of Dr. James Dobson’s book When God Doesn’t Make Sense, which we’re offering as a thank-you to anyone who gives a gift of support to Harvest Ministries this month.